In a surreal article entitled “A decade after the 9/11 attacks, Americans live in an era of endless war,” the Washington Post proves 1984 has arrived. Discussing the Pentagon’s most recent war assessment, the article recounts:
Today, radical religious ideologies, new technologies and cheap, powerful weapons have catapulted the world into “a period of persistent conflict,” according to the Pentagon’s last major assessment of global security. “No one should harbor the illusion that the developed world can win this conflict in the near future,” the document concludes.
By this logic, America’s wars are unending and any talk of peace is quixotic or naive. The new view of war and peace has brought about far-reaching changes in agencies such as the CIA, which is increasingly shifting its focus from gathering intelligence to targeting and killing terrorists. Within the military the shift has reshaped Army bases, spurred the creation of new commands and changed what it means to be a warrior.
On the home front, the new thinking has altered long-held views about the effectiveness of military power and the likelihood that peace will ever prevail. . .
“To be honest there was a certain surrealism about it,” Coglianese wrote. “For this very small slice of American children this way of life is completely normal.”
Compare this new thinking in DC with Thomas Jefferson’s vision of military and foreign affairs:
I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their
balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war. All their energies are expended in the destruction of the labor, property, and lives of their people. On our part, never had a people so favorable a chance of trying the opposite system of peace and fraternity with mankind, and the direction of all our means and faculties to the purposes of improvement instead of destruction.
“War” not “peace” was the dirty word for Jefferson, Washington, Adams, and Madison. America is now actually a “nation of eternal war.” Evidently, you cannot even speak of “peace and fraternity” in DC any longer. The article even shows a bit of actual 1984 “newspeak.”
“Peace,” meanwhile, has become something of a dirty word in Washington foreign-policy circles. Earlier this year, the House voted to cut all funding for the congressionally funded U.S. Institute of Peace.
Although the money was eventually restored, the institute’s leadership remains convinced that the word “peace” in its name was partially to blame for its woes. The word is too abstract and academic, said Richard Solomon, the institute’s president.
Solomon suggested one alternative: the U.S. Institute for Conflict Management.
I suppose “Permanent War for Permanent Peace” is now the official policy in DC.
Where is the Tea Party on this? The Tea Party’s loves to cite the Founding Fathers on every subject? Would the Founding Father be proud of our “endless war” and “persistent conflict.”
- No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare. ~James Madison
- If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. ~James Madison
- America has abstained from interference in the concerns of others, even when the conflict has been for principles to which she clings….She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and
vindicator only of her own. ~John Quincy Adams
- There never was a good war or a bad peace. ~Benjamin Franklin
- Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all. ~George Washington
- Peace and abstinence from European interferences are our objects, and so will continue while the present order of things in America remain uninterrupted. ~Thomas Jefferson
- The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad. ~James Madison
- If there is one principle more deeply rooted in the mind of every American, it is that we should have nothing to do with conquest. ~Thomas Jefferson
- Peace, commerce and honest friendship with all nations; entangling alliances with none. ~Thomas Jefferson
- Determined as we are to avoid, if possible, wasting the energies of our people in war and destruction, we shall avoid implicating ourselves with the powers of Europe, even in support of principles which we mean to pursue. They have so many other interests different from ours that we must avoid being entangled in them. We believe we can enforce these principles, as to ourselves, by peaceable means, now that we are likely to have our public councils detached from foreign views. ~~Thomas Jefferson
- No protracted war can fail to endanger the freedom of a democratic country. ~Alexis de Tocqueville (not a Founder but Tea Partiers quote him alot.)